A truck carrying 35,500 pounds of explosives crashed and exploded Wednesday, leaving a huge crater in a Utah highway and injuring at least four people.
The driver was able to get out and warn other motorists away before the truck exploded. But a passenger in the truck cab and other motorists were rushed to hospitals with injuries, Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Todd Royce said.
Two people were in critical condition and another was in satisfactory condition at a hospital in Provo, LDS Hospital spokesman Jess Gomez said.
Another person was taken by helicopter to University of Utah Hospital, spokesman Chris Nelson said. That person’s condition wasn’t released.
It wasn’t immediately clear why the truck crashed, Royce said. He said the truck was “pretty much vaporized” in the explosion and both lanes of Highway 6 in Spanish Fork Canyon, about 60 miles south of Salt Lake City, were gutted by the blast.
Several small fires in the hills above the accident scene were believed to have been triggered by flying debris, and nearby rail lines were damaged.
The rig with a 6-foot trailer from R&R Trucking of Missouri had just left commercial explosives maker Ensign-Bickford at the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon when the accident happened. The truck was headed to Oklahoma, company officials said.
Officials wouldn’t say what type of explosives the truck was carrying.
Hal Jaussi, an Ensign-Bickman manager, said the trucking company “met federal regulations for transporting explosives.”